July 1995

As members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) we recognize the pervasiveness of gambling in all forms throughout our society.  It extends to all classes and to all ages.  It permeates finance and commerce as well as sports and recreation. The following statement reflects the Society of Friends' long-held testimony against gambling and lotteries and is drawn from "The Faith and Practice of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends".

We must accept the responsibility as citizens to tax ourselves for the services we require.  We must not depend on or prey on the weakness of some to finance our common welfare.  As Friends we are called to love our neighbor and we express this love in our acceptance of the responsibility to provide for our neighbor through taxation as well as through self-giving service.

We reject the argument that the gambling instinct is a positive quality to be encouraged and therefore the state should raise revenue from it.  Indulgence in gambling not only causes the material ruin of many individuals, but dwarfs and warps their moral and spiritual lives as their hopes are focused on financial gain for which they will have rendered no service to the community.

The leadership of our state government must recognize the danger to the future of the Commonwealth as our society becomes addicted to gambling revenues. It is immoral to encourage our citizens to be covetous, to make a profit out of the inevitable loss and possible suffering of others.

Using gambling in this way is wrong in principle. We call upon our elected officials to recognize the damage we are inflicting on our neighbors with our current practices and to respond to public discussion on the true effects of state-sponsored gambling.